REDD+, RFM, Development, and Carbon Markets
Abstract: Combining responsible forest management (RFM) experiences with literature reviews and stakeholder discussions allows an assessment of the potential role of RFM in reduced emissions from deforestation and forest degradation and conservation, sustainable forest management and enhancement of carbon stocks (REDD+). RFM contributes to greater carbon storage and biodiversity in forest biomass in comparison to conventional logging and deforestation. Using an adjusted von Thünen model to explain land user behavior in relation to different variables, considering a general forest transition curve and looking at a potential relation between governance and deforestation rates, the authors conclude that reduction of deforestation and forest degradation can only be achieved by a combined approach of increasing forest rent relative to other land uses and reducing transaction costs for forest management and conservation. More than providing an additional income for a privileged few, REDD+ will need to address the barriers that have been identified in RFM over the past 30 years of investment in forest management and conservation. Most of these are of an institutional nature, but also culture and social organization as well as locally specific development trends play a significant role in increasing the potential for application of RFM and REDD+.